In the News

News and Headlines. 12/20/2017

Busy news day to say the least. Did you miss anything? Scroll down for all sections. Comments, suggestions always welcomed.

In The News:

Six men found hanged from bridges near Mexico tourist spot Los Cabos

The bodies of six men have been left hanging from three different bridges near the Mexican tourist resort of Los Cabos on the Baja California peninsula on Wednesday, local authorities said.

The authorities did not give details on what happened to the men, but drug gangs often hang the bodies of their murdered victims in public to intimidate rivals. Drug gang violence is set to make 2017 Mexico’s deadliest year in modern history.

Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz Sentenced for Conspiracy to Provide Material Support and Resources to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and Transmitting a Communication Containing a Threat to Injure

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney David J. Freed for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division announced today that Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz,  21, a U.S. citizen and resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 160 months of imprisonment and 12 of years of supervised release by Chief United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner for conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization and transmitting a communication containing a threat to injure.  Chief Judge Conner also ordered Aziz to pay $6,635.79 in restitution to the service members he threatened.

Mistrial declared in Bundy trial over withheld evidence

A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday morning in the Bunkerville standoff case involving rancher Cliven Bundy and other defendants, finding that the federal government improperly withheld evidenc

National guardsman admits threatening Vice President Pence

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A National Guardsman has admitted that he threatened to kill Vice President Mike Pence before his visit to Pennsylvania for the annual commemoration of the Flight 93 crash on Sept. 11.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports that William Robert Dunbar pleaded guilty Tuesday. The 23-year-old Berlin, Pennsylvania, man now faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced.

Authorities say Dunbar was on duty at the Army National Guard Training Center on Sept. 8 when he said, “If someone pays me enough money, I will kill the vice president.” Witnesses said they contacted commanding officers after they heard Dunbar make the threat twice.

Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Are Plummeting Without Obama Rule

Methane emissions from natural gas wells have dropped during the past six years, even as activists and lawmakers argue that stringent regulations are required to tackle what they believe are sky-high emission levels.

Emissions from onshore natural gas production tumbled nearly 14 million metric tons between 2011 and 2016, according to a report from Energy In Depth, which analyzed data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The data also found that levels had decreased even as natural gas production increased.

Big cities possess 2 worlds: one violent, another prosperous

Some of America’s large cities seem to be getting safer and more dangerous at the same time. That’s the conclusion of an Associated Press analysis of homicide data in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis.

In those cities, killings are becoming concentrated into small areas where people are dying at a pace not seen in years, if ever. Around them, many other neighborhoods are growing more peaceful, even as the total number of homicides rises.

Ex-Michigan trooper charged with murder in boy’s death

A former Michigan State Police trooper was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after being shot with a stun gun.

32 Planned Parenthood centers shut down in 2017

PARKER, Colorado — The empty retail space next to a Discount Liquors and Smoker Friendly used to house a Planned Parenthood, but no more.

The Planned Parenthood Express Clinic in Parker, Colorado, is one of the 32 Planned Parenthood centers that shut down this year, according to a study released this month by the pro-life American Life League.

Jim Sedlak, executive director of the American Life League, said there is “mounting evidence of Planned Parenthood’s decline” and “renewed optimism that the end of the organization may happen sooner than our most optimistic estimates just two years ago.”

Former Planned Parenthood Manager Drops Major Bombshell About Abortion Provider – ‘Demonic’

A former Planned Parenthood manager called the abortion organization “demonic” in a Wednesday interview, explaining why she left the abortion business.

“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Former Planned Parenthood Manager Ramona Trevino told TheDCNF in an exclusive interview

Leftist group planning to launch big “event” at FCC Pai’ home over net neutrality repeal

Amid the Federal Communications Commission repealing former President Obama’s controversial net neutrality regulation earlier this month, FCC Republican Chairman Ajit Pai has been subjected to racism, bomb threats, and attacks against his family and home.

Despite Pai’s attempt’s to reduce the federal governments overbearing control over the Internet, leftists have devised a new plan to that could harm Pai and his family.

Politics / Government:

Congress approves final tax reform bill, handing Trump year-end victory

Flashback: Democrats had to re-vote on Obamacare due to stricken provisions

Democrats have been mocking Republican sloppiness for forcing a House re-vote on the tax bill after minor provisions did not comply with Senate procedure, but the same thing happened when Democrats raced to pass Obamacare in March 2010.

Florida state senator resigns amid sexual misconduct claims

Florida state Sen. Jack Latvala resigned Wednesday, one day after an investigation found credible evidence of sexual harassment, as well as allegations that he offered to support legislation in exchange for sexual favors.

Latvala, a Republican who is also running for governor, denied wrongdoing even as he submitted his letter of resignation to Florida Senate President Joe Negron.

Here’s the Pentagon’s guidance for processing transgender recruits

The military has issued a seven-page document to its recruiting commands on how to process transgender recruits, laying out guidelines for medical exams, gender pronouns, underwear, pregnancy tests and other issues after being ordered to accept transgender recruits on Jan 1.

The Pentagon has said it will follow federal court orders requiring the start of recruiting next month, but the Justice Department is waging a last-minute legal battle that could allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to delay accepting transgender recruits.

Sarah Sanders Shreds Ted Lieu For Attacking Her With Misinformation From The Hill 

President Trump:

Trump praises tax-related AT&T bonuses amid merger dispute

President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised AT&T’s plan to award employees a $1,000 bonus once the Republican tax bill is signed into law, a move that comes as the company continues to push for government approval of its merger with Time Warner.

“This just came out. … AT&T plans to increase U.S. capital spending $1 billion and provide $1,000 special bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. employees, and that’s because of what we did,” Trump said during remarks at the White House, alongside GOP congressional leaders, after passage of the party’s tax legislation.

Trump threatens to cut aid to U.N. members over Jerusalem vote

WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favor of a draft United Nations resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Poll: Americans Thrilled with Economy Boost but Reluctant to Give Trump Credit

A new poll shows that American voters are thrilled with the state of the economy, but are reluctant to give President Donald Trump credit.

Seventy-six percent of voters described their own financial situation as “excellent” or “good,” according to a Quinnipiac poll and 63 percent and say the nation’s economy is “excellent” or “good.”

That’s good news for the Trump administration, however, voters are split as to who deserves most of the credit.

Trump says Republicans have ‘essentially’ repealed Obamacare because tax bill cancels individual mandate penalty for not buying medical insurance

Donald Trump took credit on Wednesday for repealing the Affordable Care Act as part of the Republican tax cut bill, even though the Obamacare law is still on the books.

The tax package does cancel the tax penalty imposed under Obamacare on Americans who violate the ‘individual mandate’ by choosing not to buy medical insurance.

That, the president said during a cabinet meeting, is just as good as scrapping the law entirely.

‘The individual mandate is being repealed. When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed because they get their money from the individual mandate,’ Trump said.

Government / Russian Collusion:

Trey Gowdy, Bob Goodlatte seek testimony from FBI officials over concerns of bias

Two top committee chairmen are on the hunt for possible bias in the FBI, requesting Tuesday interviews with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI chief of staff Jim Rybicki, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who traded anti-Trump text messages with a fellow member of the FBI who had been working as part of the special counsel Russian inquiry.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., outlined information they are seeking in a joint investigation to determine what role Department of Justice and FBI officials played in various investigations.

Ollie North Says Independent Counsels Have ‘Fishing Licenses’ to Go After Presidents

Things didn’t turn out so well the last time an independent counsel pulled something as bold as Robert Mueller’s recent seizure of thousands of emails to and from President Donald Trump’s transition team.

Retired Col. Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra affair in 1987 during the Reagan era, recalled Tuesday on “The Ingraham Angle” that an appellate court ended up throwing out his conviction related to that scandal. The reason was that independent counsel Lawrence Walsh had used tainted evidence arising from North’s testimony before Congress — testimony for which North had received immunity.

McCabe draws blank on Democrats’ funding of Trump dossier, new subpoenas planned

EXCLUSIVE: Congressional investigators tell Fox News that Tuesday’s seven-hour interrogation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe contained numerous conflicts with the testimony of previous witnesses, prompting the Republican majority staff of the House Intelligence Committee to decide to issue fresh subpoenas next week on Justice Department and FBI personnel.

World News:

Hundreds took to the streets of Malmo in southern Sweden to protest after three teenage girls were brutally gang raped – and police told women to stay indoors.

The most recent incident involved a 17-year-old girl who was raped by an unknown number of assailants in a children’s playground in the early hours of Saturday.

Fighting back: Protesters demanded that the government take action against rapists

Fighting back: Protesters demanded that the government take action against rapists and that police do more to protect women in Sweden

The following day, Malmo police issued a warning to local women not to go outside alone at night, and to walk in pairs or use taxis.

The first rape took place on November 4, and saw a young woman raped by several assailants after a party in Segevång, north Malmo.

Nikki Haley Just Dropped The Hammer On The UN Over Jerusalem Resolution Vote: US ‘Will Be Taking Names’

Iran state TV: 5.2 magnitude earthquake strikes near capital

Iran’s state television says that a magnitude 5.2 earthquake has jolted a town near the country’s capital.

The report says the quake hit Meshkindasht, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Tehran, at 23:28 Wednesday local time. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

Tech Watch:

Reddit was a misinformation hotspot in 2016 election, study says

Angry lawmakers on Capitol Hill grilled Facebook, Google and Twitter lawyers last month over their companies’ roles in the spread of misinformation during the 2016 presidential election.

Missing from two days of hearings? Reddit, the site that calls itself “the front page of the internet.”